No Longer a Victim by Lauren


My story has grown, but all of it has brought me here. Growing up in Michigan, I had a nice childhood, I did well in elementary school, I was happy. I followed my sister to a private middle school, which I didn’t really like all that much, but didn’t mind. In 7th grade, October, there was one night that would change the course of my life. (Even now, 13 years later, it still makes me cry.) I went to the movies with my friends, and all of them wanted to leave the theater to go walk around town. I did not, but I couldn’t stay by myself so I was torn…I just went with them. We all walked to a park nearby, and a plan was carried out by the boys. I didn’t know what they were doing at the time, but looking back, it was definitely something pre-planned. Two of the boys took my best friend and walked her away to another area of the park, and they left me with one other boy, who I knew liked me but I wasn’t interested. As a 12-year-old he was much taller than me already and much bigger than me and I was scared. He sat on a low branch of a tree and when I tried to walk away to go back to my friend, he took my hand and pulled me onto his lap. From there, he pushed me down to the ground and forced me to perform oral sex on him. The next day, I told my sister what happened and she said that I didn’t say “No” loud enough, and that I was probably asking for it. My sister was young too. I do not resent her for anything she said to me, I should have gone to an adult, but I never spoke about it again.
For the next year, I self-mutilated, drank heavily, smoked, and got with a lot of boys to feel loved. To feel anything. I was 12, and already I felt like I was in some dark hole and that was to be my life. When my school and parents found out, I got help and started my long relationship with anti-depressants. Things got better. I wasn’t nearly “fixed,” but I could smile again and hung out with the friends I had lost.
Then I got into a high school relationship. It was fun at first. It was my first love! My grandma married her first love and I remember mom telling me stories about her. They had such fun in their relationships and I thought mine would be the same….and then he became jealous and paranoid. Not just asking me questions about what I did that day…I mean he wouldn’t allow me to wear make-up without berating me, I couldn’t look up in the halls without being yelled at for cheating, he told me my family and friends were a bad influence on me, I lost all of my friends, I was depressed again. It was co-dependent and unhealthy. I remember crying every night on the phone, because I could NEVER be good enough and it just made me try harder. I didn’t know that I would never get to a place where he looked at me for me, instead of something he couldn’t trust. I’d get dumped for him to go be with someone else and then he would threaten to kill himself when I wouldn’t get back together with him. I was more lost than ever. I was back to where I started.
This guy wanted to try and date during college…a week into my first year, he broke up with me for the last time. I lost my whole identity with this person. He was gone…then who was I? I drank and drank and started to self-mutilate again. I skipped classes, I cried, I slept, I ate. December 2006….I took 7 shots of Bacardi within 15 minutes, went up to my dorm room and attempted to commit suicide by slitting my wrists. As I lied on my desk waiting…I just said I couldn’t do it. I don’t know what changed. I AIMed my friend who lived downstairs and he came to help. The ambulance was called, etc. I got switched to so many other meds, more therapy, but the rest of college was a yearly repetitive struggle. Winter 2007, 2008, 2009 I would return to the psychiatric hospital for suicidality and severe depression. I was so very consumed with just surviving that I didn’t realize I was becoming severely unhealthy. My last year there, I was date raped. Emotionally, I didn’t get better, I even took a semester off for out-patient treatment, I got into AA as well. Academically, I did very well somehow…physically, I GAINED 66 pounds. My skin was horrible, I had plantar fasciitis in both heels, back problems, and my family was very concerned.
I went straight to graduate school. I tried fitting in with the new people by going to bars with them, but it just isn’t my thing. I got too drunk one night and a cab driver was driving me into Harlem, and that wasn’t where I lived. It was too far, and I couldn’t get him to turn around. I got out of the cab….I didn’t realize that the area was bad, I just wanted to get home. I tried to get into another cab…a man came behind me and touched me. Molested me I guess. I don’t remember what he said to me, but I pushed him off and got in the cab. Once again, I was trash. I had enough of being a victim. I stayed inside, and just did my work. I got through.
Halfway into my first year, I was just so tired of being depressed. I thought that if I could change the way I was on the outside, maybe it would help me find the inside. Crying in dressing rooms and avoiding going outside for fear of putting on clothes, not wanting to go home so my family wouldn’t say anything to me. I had to do something. I ordered P90. I still did not have my eating in check though. I did weight watchers for a while and was able to get used to smaller portions and substituting things, etc. It was ok for the time being. In May 2011, I got TurboFire and just killed it. I found a reason to get up and get through my day, so I could have fun sweating it out. It was my therapy! By the time I graduated, I was 150 lbs. I found more happiness and confidence, and I found a job in Miami in June 2012.
During the move and adjustment…I went right back up to 172. I was so upset. I became a coach and did the Reset. It helped, and I was so motivated and I wanted to be so successful…then as I kept working at my teaching job…it just became more toxic. I fell so far into my depression once again. From October2012 to last April 2013, I was crying every day on the way to work. I was drinking again. I was scaring people. I didn’t care. I had huge fits. I could not see past my own pain. I was having flashbacks and nightmares, and I started beating myself down mentally. When my plan to leave that job came to be something I could actually do, I started seeing my spirits lift.
Once again, I couldn’t really control what was going on around me, so I just wanted to control what I could, and that was my weight. My spring break, I packed all of my meals from the reset and my workouts, and just threw my excuses out. Since then, I’ve been determined and have been at my lowest weight since 2006. I’m 136lbs. 50 pounds gone. I’m settled, I’m happier, I’m motivated, I’m strong, and I’m dreaming for the first time in my life. I know deep down that I’m in a good place, but this is not where I am to stay. I’m supposed to do more. No other 12-year-old should go through half their life so unhappy, no 20-year-old should suffer from bad habits and obesity. I’m here, because I survived myself. I fell and got up every time. I’m going to stay up

  • Jamie

    I’m happy you are no longer a victim! Congratulations on overcoming your past! :)

  • Betty

    Your story is heartbreaking and Inspiring, Keep on being Strong!<3